Undergraduate double major celebrates his time as a research assistant, legislative intern

December 7, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2020 graduates.

Raised in Arizona, Dino Hadziahmetovic has balanced a lot while pursuing his undergraduate education. He enrolled at Arizona State University with the President’s Award after his acceptance to Barrett, The Honors College and decided to double major in philosophy and political science. Dino Hadziahmetovic Graduating senior Dino Hadziahmetovic is earning a double major in philosophy and political science. Download Full Image

He signed up for the Undergraduate Research Experience program in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies where he was a research assistant for assistant professor of philosophy Maura Priest.

“The research area was child emotional abuse, and as a part of the project, I read and summarized over 100 academic articles involving ethical dilemmas associated with child emotional abuse and maltreatment,” said Hadziahmetovic. “I also analyzed state laws and court cases and brainstormed legal and policy solutions that increase the welfare of emotionally abused adolescents. The undergraduate research experience was a great opportunity for me to get exposure to real-world issues and develop research skills, which were extremely useful when I was writing my thesis.”

Along with writing his 95-page honors thesis titled, “In Defense of a Regulated Kidney Market,” Hadziahmetovic joined the Senate Page Program in January 2018. He began that program as a Senate page and was later promoted to constituent services specialist.

“Now I am currently the lead Senate page,” said Hadziahmetovic. “The Senate Page Program has been the greatest experience I’ve had during my undergraduate career. Working at the Senate was a great supplement to a political science degree. I would recommend the page program to any student who is interested in learning more about state government.”

Hadziahmetovic was on the Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters and is a Friends of Philosophy Scholar, Spirit of Service Scholar and Don Lavoie Fellow. He is also the winner of the Moeur award.

Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective? 

Answer: I learned that most professors genuinely want you to succeed. Most professors will go out of their way to help you or provide guidance as long as you worked hard and showed a genuine interest in the class. Ultimately, I was surprised by how friendly, helpful and approachable most professors were. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU? 

A: I chose ASU for several reasons. First, ASU always seemed like a logical choice for me. I’ve lived in Arizona for practically my whole life, and I was raised in north Phoenix, about 25 miles away from ASU. Also, most of my friends were going to ASU and my older sister Una went to ASU. In addition, the cost of ASU was a significant factor. ASU was much more affordable than any out-of-state school, and I wasn’t really interested in going to University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University. Finally, Barrett was what attracted me to ASU the most. Barrett is arguably the best public honors college in the entire nation and I knew I was going to ASU once I was accepted to Barrett. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU? 

A: Throughout my time at ASU, I’ve had the privilege to work with so many intelligent and passionate professors. In particular, Dr. Thad Botham, Dr. Maura Priest, Professor Alberto Olivas, Dr. John Parker and Dr. Robert Niebuhr have taught me lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Most notably, these professors taught me to challenge my beliefs and approach situations from as many perspectives as possible. Overall, all of these professors have had a significant impact on me and my future career plans. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school? 

A: My best piece of advice is don’t be afraid of failure or making mistakes. As (the saying goes), “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Also, I would recommend that all students take advantage of the tremendous resources and opportunities available at ASU. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life? 

A: I haven’t been on campus all year because of COVID, but my favorite spot for power studying last year was Hayden Library! I loved the renovations at Hayden Library because of all the new study spots. No matter how packed the library was, there was always a cozy and quiet place in the library for me to get a few hours of studying in between classes. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation? 

A: I was accepted into Harvard Law School last spring, but I deferred my admission for a year to complete my philosophy degree and continue working at the state capitol. After graduating from ASU, I will immediately transition to a full-time position at the Arizona State Senate. For this upcoming legislative session, I will be an assistant research analyst for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. After the legislative session is over, I will move to Massachusetts and begin my legal education at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2021. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle? 

A: I would use the $40 million to develop Blockchain infrastructure in developing countries. I think that within the next decade, Blockchain technology will be an invaluable tool for enhancing economic development in emerging countries. By revolutionizing supply chains and international trade globally, blockchain technology will accelerate industrialization, economic growth and job creation in developing countries by providing greater access to global markets and more inclusion in global trade. Blockchains will transform global payment systems, allowing billions of dollars in new remittance to flow into the economies of poor countries. Moreover, Blockchain technology will make foreign aid more effective and increase the probability that assistance reaches the appropriate recipients and accomplishes its intended goals. Finally, digital ledger technology and transparent, immutable record keeping will lead to greater financial participation and entrepreneurship in developing countries. I’m a firm believer that Blockchain technology will enable developing countries to maximize their economic potential. I think developing countries that embrace blockchain applications will gain stability and become more competitive on the global stage. I think a $40 million investment will lead to billions of dollars in economic growth and development, which in turn would increase prosperity for millions of people.

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Mechanical engineering achievements earn ASU professor ASME fellow status

December 7, 2020

Being named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME, is a distinction bestowed on only 3% of the organization’s more than 100,000 members. Leila Ladani, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University, is now in that select group.

The honor granted by the ASME Committee of Past Presidents recognizes Ladani’s achievements as an educator and researcher in mechanical engineering, as well as her contributions to ASME. ASU Professor Leila Ladani has been named as ASME Fellow Contributions to the engineering of materials and manufacturing processes, and to the education of her students, has earned Fulton Schools professor Leila Ladani high recognition from her professional peers. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU Download Full Image

Nomination for fellow status requires more than 10 years of membership in ASME and an equally long record of support for its mission and goals.

Ladani joined the ASME in 2005 and has since received the ASME Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division’s Women In Engineering Award and has had key roles on several committees, including serving as chair of the ASME Materials Division, chair of the Subdivision of Electronic Materials and co-chair of the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Subdivision of Emerging Technologies.

Ladani teaches in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of the six Fulton Schools, and previously directed The Polytechnic School. She now directs ASU’s Manufacturing Innovation Center, or MAGIC, which focuses on solving manufacturing industry challenges, generating and developing ideas for advances in manufacturing and materials technologies, and training students to become industry leaders, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.  

She has been working in the fields of mechanical engineering and manufacturing for more than 20 years and has earned international recognition for her contributions to advances in manufacturing. In addition, she edits the highly rated Elsevier research journal, Materials Science and Engineering: A.

Becoming an ASME Fellow is especially important to her, Ladani said, “because we don’t have many female engineers, especially in mechanical engineering. As a woman and a fellow, you can inspire many young female engineers and students who are working to find a path in this field.”

Ladani is already seeing the productive influence of her most recent recognition.

“It opens opportunities for me to contribute more effectively,” she said. “This is an affirmation of your expertise and the importance of your research and it provides a broader platform for collaboration and impact.”

Ladani’s recently published book, "Additive Manufacturing of Metals: Materials, Processes, Tests, and Standards," explores the potential of innovations in additive manufacturing technology to significantly change the operations of manufacturing industries — enabling devices and systems to be designed and built more efficiently while saving energy in the process, among other advantages.

Ladani has been contributing to that progress — most recently through her work in ASU’s Additive Manufacturing Center — and helping to develop the next generation of professionals in the field through her teaching, both in the classroom and the research lab.

She and her team aspire to make breakthroughs in the development of advanced manufacturing processes to make novel materials designed specifically for precise high-tech applications, including microelectronics, aerospace and biomedical applications.

Ladani has plans to add national research projects to her pursuits, which would provide opportunities for fellow ASU faculty members and students to collaborate with leading engineers and scientists at other prominent institutions.

Longtime colleague and mentor Professor Christine E. Hailey, dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Texas State University, lauds Ladani for the “ingenuity and drive” she has shown throughout her career.

Hailey says Ladani came to ASU primarily because of its culture, “which promotes innovation and access to education for all,” bringing with her the same energy, determination and resilience she has always shown in pursuing her teaching and research goals.

With her long and extensive list of contributions and accomplishments as an educator and a leader in mechanics and manufacturing, Ladani can be expected to build on her record of success, says fellow mechanical engineer Amir Faghri.

Faghri is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Distinguished Dean Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Connecticut, where Ladani spent three years on the faculty.

He describes Ladani as “an inspirer, an outstanding teacher and mentor with a deep intellect and an unwavering commitment to her work.”

He notes in particular that her work in modeling and simulation of additive manufacturing processes has been instrumental in adapting this new technology for a number of major companies.

Ladani is one of more than 3,000 ASME members who have attained fellow status since the distinction was established in 1961, joining a list that includes Fulton Schools professors Aditi Chattopadhyay, Marc Mignolet, Hanqing Jiang, T. Agami Reddy and Thomas Sugar, as well as emeritus professors Joseph Davidson, Harold Nelson, Ramendra Roy, Jami Shah and Ronald So.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering